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    Posted: 15 Mar 2021 at 09:54
As I've been approached via PM on this forum by a person who sincerely wants to cure my atheism and who invited me to participate in a religious get-together via Zoom in 2 weeks (perhaps all Russians are still viewed as barbaric commies, thanks to Mr Reagan and alike), I thought that it may be a good idea to start another religious thread, given that English speakers love to talk about religion and this may help to attract more visitors to this forum.  So this is how the idea of this thread has appeared Smile

There are at least 2 contradictions between Jesus' teaching and classical Judaism that I'd know.

Classical Judaism teaches to consecrate Shabbath, but in Matthew 12:1-8 we can read how Jesus testified that Shabbath was not to be observed. Moreover, in Matthew 12:9-14 Jesus commits another miracle of his own, thereby giving the idea that there was nothing special about Shabbath to observe it. Later Christians would make Sunday (the day Jesus resurrected) a special day for resting, thereby replacing classical Jewish Shabbath.

Another contradiction relates to how Jesus observed the ritual purity. It's well known that classical Judaism regards women in their menstrual cycle as unclean and bans them from entering the temple and touching anyone or to be touched. However in Matthew 9:20-22 we can find another example of how Jesus neglected this command of classical Judaism.

I do know that the later teaching by St. Paul devaluated the need for circumcision for those Jews who wanted to join the Christian church as well. 

Are there any other examples of collision between classical Judasim and Christian teaching?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote truthsetsfree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2021 at 11:08
Originally posted by Novosedoff Novosedoff wrote:

Classical Judaism teaches to consecrate Shabbath, but in Matthew 12:1-8 we can read how Jesus testified that Shabbath was not to be observed. Moreover, in Matthew 12:9-14 Jesus commits another miracle of his own, thereby giving the idea that there was nothing special about Shabbath to observe it. Later Christians would make Sunday (the day Jesus resurrected) a special day for resting, thereby replacing classical Jewish Shabbath.


From my basic understanding it is not true that Jesus or the New Testament disregard the sabbath. They just disagree with humans making it legalistic. There is no verse anywhere supporting a changed sabbath day, the change was made by early Roman catholics.
"Slaves have no rest".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2021 at 11:38
Originally posted by truthsetsfree truthsetsfree wrote:

[QUOTE=Novosedoff]
They just disagree with humans making it legalistic. 

Ok. So there was still some disagreement about Sabbath between them.

Here is something to warm up this topic a bit Smile

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2021 at 02:30
Of course there is some disagreement, there will always be disagreement between people on things that matter, to them.  There is a saying (a Jewish saying), two jews, three opinions.

There is a nice little infant gospel story with Jesus making clay pigeons in the mud on the sabbath, and a Pharisee catching him, "you're making birds on the sabbath!' the Pharisee exclaimed!  Jesus clapped his hands twice and said, "birds? what birds?" as they all flew away.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2021 at 14:11
An interesting short article has just been published

I thought it might be interesting to analyse and discuss it together here.

The article highlights a few facts about Jesus, such as
1. Jesus’ family was actually wealthy
2.  Jesus’ family was actually educated 
3. Jesus’ family was actually influential characters within Judaean society. 

What evidence can we find in the Bible to support each of the above claims?

1. Well, Jesus's family used to travel to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.  Rodney Stark etc claim that only wealthy Jewish people could afford to do this back at the time of Jesus. Check out the below video starting at 15:43 (the fact about Passover is mentioned at 21:38)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbEsyKJJQcU&t=943s 

2. Bertrand Russell mentioned in one of his works that the sermon on the mount delivered by Jesus to his followers clearly repeats certain parts from the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs written 100 years before Jesus, including  the famous "love your enemies". The fact that Jesus cited those parts means that he must have been familiar with the document and therefore literate.

What other evidence can we find in the Bible or other sources to support the above claims? 


Edited by Novosedoff - 27 Mar 2021 at 14:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2021 at 10:47
I don't know if Jesus' family was wealthy, when the article says tekton, I have heard that means a skilled laborer, presumably having worked on some of the public works projects under the Herod family.  I don't buy that he was a grand mason.  As far as educated, well Jesus does show up and teach the rabbi's a few things, so presumably he was educated in synagogue, that does not mean he was Greek educated.

Most of Jesus work was in and around Galilee, which was a rural, farming area, the farmer's being taxed out of existence, so that big 'company' farms could come in.  Jesus was probably pushing land reform, and influential that way, but not necessarily hobnobbing with the rich and famous.  Galilee was not Judaea.  His mission in Judaea and Jerusalem, may have been as short as 6 months, maybe as long as 1 1/2 years.  But, not more than one passover.  or so I have heard.
History and Archaeology of the Bible by Jean-Pierre Isbouts, Great Courses/National Geographic
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote truthsetsfree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2021 at 10:21

Doesn't the gospel says "where did he get such knowledge"?

There is not really any surprise that Jesus/Yeshua was familiar with contemporary extant teachings and teachers.  Moreover if he was really the son of God then he may naturally know due to his divine nature. Also he was descended from David who wrote all those psalms so he naturally would have similar thoughts to his ancestors.

Jesus: "love your neighbour as yourself", "do unto others as would have done to you".

Judaism: "Love your neighbour as yourself" Leviticus 19:18.
"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn." (Hillel? or Gamaliel?)
" What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor " - the Babylonian Talmud.

Jesus: "what use is it if you gain the world but loose your soul?"

Judaism: "As Hillel the Elder had stated, whosoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whosoever that saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world."

Jesus: "store up treasures in heaven [not on earth where moths/rust/thieves]"

Judaism: Monobaz II (ca 55 ad/ce) said: "My fathers stored up below and I am storing up above... My fathers stored in a place which can be tampered with, but I have stored in a place which cannot be tampered with... My fathers gathered treasures of money and I have gathered treasures of souls...".

Jesus: supposed son of Joseph, was a great teacher & healer / miracle worker esp in Galilee.

Judaism: "O Jose ha-Gelili / Yose the Galilean, heal me!"

He did write with his finger in the ground in John so maybe he was able to read and write.
He also found the place  in Isaiah easily and is said to have read it out loud.

There doesn't seem to be much evidence for Jesus being overly rich/wealthy as he often spoke negatives about wealth/riches. Though his family might have been a little bit slightly well off eg his seemless cloack with tassells. He seems to have given it up if he was and he had to get Peter to get a penny from a fish to pay the tax.

I heard that tekon or najjar can mean a mason or builder not just a wood carpenter, and it can also mean an adept.

I think Nazareth may have been in the more Zealotish/Jewish Upper/North Galilee rather than near the Herodian Sepphoris in Lower/south-west Galilee. Luke or Matthew seems to imply Joseph avoided the Herods.

It is commonly supposed that the gospels indicate a 1 or 3 years/passovers ministry with a few circuits up and down the land during that time.



Edited by truthsetsfree - 31 Mar 2021 at 10:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2021 at 20:12
The Gospels are not histories. They're collected stories about someone called Jesus. Some were quite diverse and most are now lost, perhaps numbering as much as fifty different ones before the acceptance of canon in the 4th century (though the current four Gospels are present in christian circles since around 150-160ad).
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2021 at 21:15
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

The Gospels are not histories. They're collected stories about someone called Jesus. Some were quite diverse and most are now lost, perhaps numbering as much as fifty different ones before the acceptance of canon in the 4th century (though the current four Gospels are present in christian circles since around 150-160ad).

Yeah, that's the thing about the canonical 4 gospels. Some very reputable researchers (Baur, Strauss etc) even say that the 4 gospels were created later than the famous Apocalypse and 4 letters by St Paul (the rest of letters were seemingly fabricated), but definitely not earlier than in 2nd half of 2nd century AD.

PS Btw I am also very impressed by the knowledgeable comments of truthsetsfree. Thanks for joining the discussion.



Edited by Novosedoff - 31 Mar 2021 at 21:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote truthsetsfree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2021 at 22:37

I think the gospels may be abit more historically reliable and earlier, though there probably was an oral gospel at first for some years.
There are fragments of John's gospel maybe/almost dating to the end of John's long life.
Peter and John are supposed to be the longest living and latest to die apostles.
The 3 synoptic gospels all have alot of similar details and so it is interesting that 3 different authors may confirm each other, plus the other NT books also confirm some details.
Researchers believe from evidence that Mark's gospel is the earliest gospel.
There is a version of the New Testament in which the editor Thomas Lindsay placed the books in chronological order as far as he and others are able to guess their rough relative dates from evidences. He has a prologue of an original oral gospel compiled from material common to the 4 gospels and in the words of Mark (called Q in other sources).
Mark knew Peter and Paul. Luke knew Paul. Luke is considered a sort of historian as well as a doctor/physician.

Order of NT books from two or more different theories:
Letter of James early 40s to 110
Oral gospel before ca 48 (Lindsay 0)
I & II Thessalonians from Athens ca 48 (Lindsay 1)
Galatians ca 50 (Lindsay 2)
Letter of James ca 50 (Lindsay 3)
I Thessalonians 50
Galatians early 50s
I Corinthians early 50s
I & II Corinthians ca 53 (Lindsay 4)
Philemon mid-50s, Paul in prison
Philippians mid-50s, Paul in prison
II Corinthians mid-50s
Romans ca 55 (Lindsay 5)
Romans 58, written in Corinth
Colossians ca 59 from Rome (Lindsay 6)
Philemon ca 60 from Rome (Lindsay 7)
Ephesians ca 60 from Rome (Lindsay 8)
Philippians ca 61 from Rome (Lindsay 9)
Letter of 1 Peter ca 61 (Lindsay 10)
Gospel of Mark/Peter ca 65 (Lindsay 11)
I & II Timothy ca 66-69 (Lindsay 12)
Letter to Titus in Crete ca 67 (Lindsay 13)
Gospel of Mark/Peter 70
Letter of James early 70s (others say anywhere from 40s to 110)
Gospel of Matthew/Levi ca 80 (Lindsay 14)
Hebrews by Paul ca 80 (Lindsay 15)
Colossians 80s, not by Paul
Gospel of Matthew/Levi late 80s
Gospel of Luke/Paul most scholars date it to late 80s
Hebrews by Paul 80s-90s? difficult to date
Luke/Acts 80-90
Gospel of Luke/Paul ca 85 (Lindsay 16)
Gospel of John ca 90 (Lindsay 19*)
3 letters of John ca 90 (Lindsay 20*)
Ephesians 90 or earlier if by Paul
Revelation of John/Jesus 90s, though could be into the 120s
Revelation of John ca 91 (Lindsay 17*)
Acts of Peter & Paul by Luke/Paul ca 92 (Lindsay 18*)
Letter of Jude ca 93 (Lindsay 21)
Letter of 2 Peter ca 93 (Lindsay 22)
Letter of Jude 100, unless really by a brother of Jesus & then probably oldest* in NT
Letters of I, II, & III John 100, though in what order no idea
Gospel of Luke/Paul 100s, tho most date it to late 80s
Acts of Peter & Paul by Luke 100s
II Thessalonians 100s – if not Paul, and majority think not
Letter of I Peter 110s – not by Peter
I Timothy 120 – not by Paul
II Timothy 120 – not by Paul
Titus 120 – not by Paul
Revelation of John/Jesus could be into the 120s
Letter of II Peter 130-150

I found these 2 further parallels between Jesus and Jewish teachers/teachings in Ahavat Elohim forum

Yeshua
Insulting someone is tantamount to murder.
- Matt. 5:21-22

Pharisees
"He who publicly shames his neighbour is as
though he shed blood." - Talmud: Bava Mezia 58b

Yeshua
Betrayal of your fellow man is likened to
betrayal of HaShem. - Matt. 25:45

Pharisees
"One who betrays his fellow, it is as if he
has betrayed God. - Tosefta Sh'vuot ch. 3

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2021 at 23:11
You must be joking. The gospels weren't written by the name they are attributed to and overall lack consistency. Worse, they incorporate stories borrowed from foreign religions/myth (especially the miracles which cannot have an historical truth. Never mind that such miracles would have been known to the Romans and guaranteed an inescapable ticket to Capri where Tiberius would have demanded proof that Jesus could do things like that). But even more damning is the similarity between Christian paradigms and older religions from the Middle East. Christianity evolved from a Judaic version of other religions prevalent in the ancient world - including the Graeco-Roman. It is therefore based on pagan worship and is not original in any way. Is there any history in the gospels at all? How could you tell? Unless there is independent evidence that confirms it, the Gospels cannot be regarded as historical. They were after religious texts, not witness statements.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2021 at 03:49
Depends on what you mean by "historical."  Think of it as like a historical novel in which the background characters are very historical, but whether there was anyone like the main character(s), is another question.  The Pharisees, the Saduccees, the zealots, the Herodians and the Romans were quite real.  As far as miracles are concerned, well if you believed in them you would consider them as historical, having a place in the timeline, causes (that we don't understand), and effects.  You are probably thinking of Hume and miracles as violations of natural laws.  To misquote Bugs Bunny, "I never studied natural law."  Scientific natural laws are man-made albeit deduced from nature, a nature that is imperfectly understood at the time (and forevermore).  That is not to say they are not useful, or authoritative (but not to the point they should be idolized).  Look at Newton's Law of Gravity, and how Mercury moves.  The movement of Mercury was not accounted until Einstein described the effect on Mercury of being in the Sun's gravity well.  Before that scientists accounted for it by the pull of a (fictional) planet named Vulcan.  Is Vulcan historical?  Yes, as much as the effect of the underlying Ether.  The fact that neither actually exists-exists is a minor detail.

I listened on the Great Courses, a lecture series on Sacred Texts.  Looking at pretty much anything besides Judaism and Christianity, one sees very little sign of historicality in other religions.  Of course, with the rise of history proper with the Greeks, and then the Romans, one does have a proper beginning of history.  Even then, more popular than history per se, was biography, the "history" of the great men, so to speak.
I am not sure what you mean from "not original."  If something is original, then can it also be historical (as a whole)?  If something is historical, can it also be original (as a whole)?  Everything comes from what has come before.  It may be derivative, but if it is derivative it cannot have the novelty that we associate with the original.  No?  Only Athena was sprung fully formed from the head of Zeus.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote truthsetsfree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2021 at 10:17
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

You must be joking. The gospels weren't written by the name they are attributed to and overall lack consistency. Worse, they incorporate stories borrowed from foreign religions/myth (especially the miracles which cannot have an historical truth. Never mind that such miracles would have been known to the Romans and guaranteed an inescapable ticket to Capri where Tiberius would have demanded proof that Jesus could do things like that). But even more damning is the similarity between Christian paradigms and older religions from the Middle East. Christianity evolved from a Judaic version of other religions prevalent in the ancient world - including the Graeco-Roman. It is therefore based on pagan worship and is not original in any way. Is there any history in the gospels at all? How could you tell? Unless there is independent evidence that confirms it, the Gospels cannot be regarded as historical. They were after religious texts, not witness statements.


I don't really see any overall lack of consistency, can you give an example?

What name were they written by? My impression is they have always had the names ascribed to them.

It is not definite that miracles can't have historical truth. First that is only if there is no God, but there may be a God (which there is some evidence for). Jesus surely did perform miracles, his famousness and testifications by witnesses etc imply he must have or he wouldn't have become so famous/infamous and influential. 4 separate gospels authors and other NT authors and other sources give independent testimony. I've already shown that "O Yose ha-Gelili / Jose the Galilean, heal me!" might relate to the healer Jesus son of Joseph of Galilee?  There have also allegedly been other miracles in history especially biblical history like the Red Sea passage. Some believers in AD times even claim they had miracles including healings. Though there is no denying that in our AD times that it is hard to believe miracles because we mostly only see that everything always keeps on only happening within natural laws.

There is no denying that there are many similarities between the bible and other mythological sources, but that doesn't prove that the bible is a fake because it is not really surprising that there would be similarities, and who can say which way around the copying was? Christians say the others are corruptions from the common true original, and that the devil copies everything. All religions and political philosophies etc have analogies. Some of the similarities can actually confirm that the events really happened esp the ones in Genesis. As you know Spengler and Toynbee and Fomenko and primary proofs of christianity website all show that there are similarities in the phases of all high cultures.
 Also the Judaeo-Christian religion is different to the others in being monotheistic etc.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2021 at 20:09
Originally posted by truthsetsfree truthsetsfree wrote:


Jesus surely did perform miracles, his famousness and testifications by witnesses etc imply he must have or he wouldn't have become so famous/infamous and influential. 4 separate gospels authors and other NT authors and other sources give independent testimony. 


That's precisely what Edward Gibbon meant when he wrote about Christianity in his famous work: belief in miracles is one of the pillars that supported its expansion, because many people are gullible, there is nothing one can do about it  Smile

You see in Russia in the turmoil of 90s that followed the collapse of Soviet Union we were lucky to have the whole bunch of the new very charismatic religious leaders, some of them even claimed their names after Jesus 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marina_Tsvigun?wprov=sfla1
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KBBjhwFxMK0
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_claimed_to_be_Jesus?wprov=sfla1
and there were like hundreds and thousands witnesses of the miracles they performed on stage, there were even articles in newspapers which testified the miracles almost like gospels. The reach of PR and mass media is not to be underestimated, the army of the supporters grew rapidly. 

So why do I mention all this to you? Because I think the picture must have been very similar for Jews of the earlier ages. Back then Israel was a theocratic state (like today's Iran or Saudi Arabia), meaning that religious movements were a part of daily political life. The internal political turmoil was heated with the arrival of Romans, who should be regarded as nothing less but an aggressive external force of invaders who showed little knowledge or respect of the local cults. Any testimony found in gospels are akin to reading 2000-years-old newspaper written by crafty ancient journalists. When Romans realized what was going on in that sporadic mayhem of ideas and participants, they arranged all the movements based on how much threat they represented to the Roman authority. Some were to be ignored, some were decimated and their leaders punished. Since nationalistic ideas are often attractive, Romans used the names of nationalistic leaders as disguise to befriend  and promote their own universal Roman agenda to Jewish flocks, luckily Romans didn't experience any lack of supporters among the Jews, some of whom were driven by the free trade interests, others - by close family / diaspora ties etc. Given that there was a large Jewish community in hostile Iran, Romans even managed to penetrate the neighboring state and create there the network of agents: Romans sacked the Iranian capital 5 times, whereas Persians never approached Rome.



Edited by Novosedoff - 05 Apr 2021 at 04:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote truthsetsfree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 2021 at 14:16
I don't think I'm gullible. I'm more cautious and "suspicious" and forced to seek truth. There are alot of gullible people around but they also fall for "experts" and "science", eg water fluoridation etc (pushed by same sort of universal and free trade interests as you describe in those times). Its preferable to use ancient near contemporary sources rather than assumptions and theories, though there are similarities in world history. It is interesting though trying to see how/what things really were like then.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 2021 at 22:28
This stuff about miracles. It's myth. Storytelling. People do not walk on water, heal by touch, feed thousands out of thin air, or ascend to heaven after rising from the dead. In  fact, the latter is a fundamental component of cults from the ancient world generally, notably Inanna, Osiris, Romulus, and Zalmoxis. In other words, inclusive of Persian, Egyptian, and Graeco-Roman culture. 

Since someone asked about inconsistency, the biggest inconsistency is that the Romans don't seem to have noticed these miracles going on despite keeping tabs on what was a troublesome occupation, and that by a culture that thrived on superstition. Had anyone in ancient Judaea actually performed such miracles the first thing that would happened would be that person being hauled in front of the authorities to demonstrate. Execution would be very likely because in ancient times authority did not like anything perceived as a threat to their control - even harmless religious preachers often got bumped off for attracting large crowds (which itself was something the ancient world usually interpreted as a potential uprising). So either as a con merchant or powerful sorcerer, the miracle worker was doomed. And that's before the Romans got wind of it.

Gospels are hugely dubious works from the outset. They are almost always attributed to people who did not write them. They were composed long after the event when there were no witnesses to contradict them - let's remember that Pliny the Younger tells us that Christians were very few in number in the 1st century and much disliked. Nor is there much direct evidence of what Christian sects were doing in the first century of their existence. All the written evidence is later, and researchers have come to the conclusions that much of that which survives are medieval forgeries (such as the addition of Jesus related commentaries in Josephus)

One of the most important pro-christian arguments is that the described events took p[lace in the real world during an established period of history. No suprise there. There are clues in ancient literature (I'm not an expert on this so I don't know which ones. I respectfully urge that the reader look into this subject themselves) that point out a mysterious mythic Jesus had little appeal, so changing him into a real world miracle worker long after the fact was actually more believable to poorly educated masses.

Lactantius (a 3rd/4th century pro-christian) wrote how there would be a second coming based on the fall of the Roman Empire. Not only did the empire not fall soon after writing this, he became advisor to Constantine the Great and thus helped ensure Christianity thrived. When the Empire finally broke up, where was Jesus? Notable by his absence. As he always was.


Edited by caldrail - 05 Apr 2021 at 22:31
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2021 at 03:39
I don't see you as gullible, truthsetsfree, sometimes the lists you make up are a little overwhelming, sometimes I don't completely see the point, but I also think of you as an honest searcher.  I think that common people don't initiate the big "mistakes" like purges and progoms, (but intellectuals do).  Intellectuals seem to think that Marx never killed anybody, and he didn't, pull the trigger that is.

Citing a 18th century British(?) Enlightenment historian on Christianity is an interesting touch.  Gibbon is more interesting for knowing what the enlightenment thought about Rome and Christianity than about Rome and Christianity themselves.  The enlightenment generally dismissed Christianity, and guess what Gibbon does?  If you want to look at someone from the enlightenment period with a favorable view of religion, read Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.

Caldrail, if you want to consider the Jesus references in Josephus to be "forgeries," okay.  But from what I heard, they were probably marginalia that over time got copied into the text.  In other words, the man Josephus is probably not the authority or the origin for them, but whether the perspective that they convey is accurate, is not clear either.  In this view fraud was not "obviously" the purpose of them.

Have you looked at Apollonius of Tyana?  He is a pagan 'Pythagorean' wonderworker in the 1st or 2nd c. AD, there is also another mentioned (and denounced) by Lucan.  Long before them (500 BC) Pythagoras was a bit of a wonderworker, as was his mentor Pherecydes of Syros (not Syria).  I wonder about Simon Magus, but my point is, that they are there, and probably would come out of the woodwork if we had more complete sources.  The Romans tended to be hands off towards them, especially if, like philosophers they stayed away from Rome.

As far as where Jesus was, things were going well in his absence, why not wait until he was needed?

There was the prime minister of Israel, and he got a call from the customs stand at the airport.
It was watched over by crack Israeli troops, chosen especially for the job, a slovenly fat guy who could never tuck in his shirt, and two teenage girls.
He said, "there is a guy here who says he's the messiah!"
The prime minister said, "well, are his papers in order? Let him in."
Then he thought and said,
"Wait a minute, ask him if this is his first visit or his second visit?"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2021 at 04:29
franciscosan,

I mentioned Gibbon because he seemed very convincing in how he classified the main Christian pillars that led to the expansion of the new religion, incl. 
1) using ancient Jewish religious heritage rather than building from a scratch, 
2) the doctrine of the immortal soul, pagans were doomed to eternal tortures,
3) ability of the God chosen to create miracles
4) the doctrine of the sin
5) strong community spirit and good management

Although I believe that the most important pillar is missing in the above list: state's sponsorship and support along with new regulation brought by emperor Theodosius  that forbade pagans to claim their rights of inheritance for any property.

You are quite right saying that many of the those things that are commonly attributed to the Christians nowadays were in fact borrowed by Christian from other religions. For instance, Christians were not the first ones in this world who invented the concept of immortal soul (in fact, Sadducee priesthood denied the immortality of the soul at the time of Jesus). The concept of the soul had already been prevalent at the time of Greek poet Orpheus who seemingly lived 11 generations before the Trojan War and therefore before Jewish Moses (the one who seemingly invented Judaism). This concept was later adopted by Plato and Co. The other concept of sins can be found in Homer's Odyssey (Homer lived in 8th century BC), in the original Greek text the word "ata" stands for sins (Odyssey X. 68 and XI. 61, in English translation the word must have been replaced). 

So many of those things were not new and syncretism was widespread. In Hindu and Buddhist culture miracles were very common too and the list of things commonly attributed to Buddhist monks included: the ability to fly, the ability to move heavy items by the strength of someone's thought, the ability to call ghosts, the ability to change the weather, the ability to enter other bodies. At certain stage of Buddhism development Buddhists even had to adopt the new rule that forbade Buddhist monks to claim their supernatural abilities, it is now one of 227 rules Buddhist monks have to follow.
 


Edited by Novosedoff - 06 Apr 2021 at 09:12
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I see my personal historic mission in bringing madness to juvenile masses.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2021 at 05:07
Quote As far as where Jesus was, things were going well in his absence, why not wait until he was needed?
So as long as Britain is safe, we don't need Francis Drake to reappear? Or Arthur, the Once and Future King? Or any of the veritable army of sleeping heroes ready to rescue Britain? Or perhaps we might consider all the other sleeping heroes found throughout Europe and Russia? The idea that Jesus is coming back is nothing more than a common mythic theme. 
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote truthsetsfree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2021 at 09:42
Just found another comparison of Jesus and Judaism which I had forgotten:

Jesus: "I require mercy (or loving kindness) not sacrifice"

Judaism: "We have another, equally important source of atonement, the practice of gemilut hasadim (loving kindness), as it is stated 'I desire loving kindness and not sacrifice'." - Rabban Yochanan.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2021 at 11:06
Well, I have to admit I've seen a few miracles too, though they were all man-made miracles. I am sure there must have been more than a few in my entire life, but only a few of them have been  consciously noticed by me. It was a morning rush hour, I was in my early 20s or younger standing at the bus stop waiting in a line to get to my work office or university, and then I saw a stray dog was hit by a car about 200 meters from where I stood. The dog survived, but was terribly injured unable to move itself off the road. The car driver didn't even stop and was gone off sight in a second. There was like another tram stop nearby the place of the accident, so lots of folks swept past that dog, but noone of them stopped because everyone was in a rush to get to  his work and dog was obviously inadequate, shaking and barking in pain at everyone.  I mean I have to admit it never even crossed my mind too that I could put off all my duties because of one little crazy stray dog 200 meters away from me. But I was young and very cynical, perhaps even smiling at the scene. And then I saw a woman detached from  the crowd  and slowly approached the dog. Very carefully she gave the dog a soft stroke, and then when it became clear that the dog was not gonna snap her, she took off her coat and then carried the dog away. A minute ago she looked like an average gaper in the crowd who was in a rush too, but eventually she turned out to be the only human in the crowd that morning. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 02:27
I think Arthur needs to return to handle Megan Markle, oh wait a minute, Arthur didn't do well handling women, did he?<grin>

Jews hate that Christians call it the New Testament, but the fact is there are different stages of the Hebrew Bible that probably represent appropriations of old religion and additions of new.  Noahite laws, the Patriarchs, Moses, the Kingship and the prophets.  Some of these forces are actually antithetical to each other (Kingship/prophets), but are uneasily reconciled to make up parts of the Bible.

The Christian hell is just kinda an updated pagan Hades or Jewish Sheoul.  Mystery religions said you could get out of that cycle, but unless you were someone special (Heracles), you couldn't get out of it in the official pagan religions.

Interesting about Theodosius, when was he?  When was Constantine?  Of course, Protestants try to harken back to a pre-Catholic (or Orthodox) time period.  So lots of emphasis on the Bible and not so much on Church Fathers or Desert monks.  That is where the evangelicals get there 'inerrancy' from.  I know about the Church and Desert fathers more than most Protestants.  But, I still look on the early Christianity as the 'real' thing.

Have you ever been a follower of something before it 'broke through'?  I got into Japanese anime early on, our group would pick up just about anything that came out on the market, and they would put out just about anything on the (translated) market because they didn't know what would catch on.  What eventually happened, and what made the difference is that the Japanese economy went down, and all of a sudden they in Japan were not selling 100,000 copies for an OAV (OVA), but 20,000 copies in the Japanese market.  That meant that all of a sudden, selling 10,000 copies of an OAV in translated form in the States meant making a profit or not.  But, with the arrival on the scene of anime in the States, also meant the demise of the experiental, try-anything attitude, and also meant what was sold over here fell into cliches, and short cuts in the animation techniques.  Kind of lost its fun, certain things that were great in those opening days are impossible to find now.  I bring it up because I wonder if early Christianity was that way for some of the early monk who stashed the library at Nag Hammadi.
(OVA/OAV is a made for video production.)


"Xanthias (Desert Father)-  The same abba said, 'A dog is better than I am, for he has love and he does not judge.'

In some ways it is easier to care for an animal (anima), in other ways it is harder.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2021 at 08:25
Quote Have you ever been a follower of something before it 'broke through'?  I got into Japanese anime early on, our group would pick up just about anything that came out on the market, and they would put out just about anything on the (translated) market because they didn't know what would catch on.  What eventually happened, and what made the difference is that the Japanese economy went down, and all of a sudden they in Japan were not selling 100,000 copies for an OAV (OVA), but 20,000 copies in the Japanese market.  That meant that all of a sudden, selling 10,000 copies of an OAV in translated form in the States meant making a profit or not.  But, with the arrival on the scene of anime in the States, also meant the demise of the experiental, try-anything attitude, and also meant what was sold over here fell into cliches, and short cuts in the animation techniques.  Kind of lost its fun, certain things that were great in those opening days are impossible to find now.  I bring it up because I wonder if early Christianity was that way for some of the early monk who stashed the library at Nag Hammadi.

An interesting perspective. You may well have a point, but perhaps not a complete one. Early christianity was notorious as a vehicle for individuals to exploit their well meaning congregations and indeed, the prospect of wealth and land were the main attractions of Constantine's offer of patronage. What I will maintain is that modern views on christianity should not be regarded as normal for the historical picture. Context is obviously key in that regard. For that reason, one can look how the religion developed in the earlier medieval period as a result of Roman patronage and status, especially the late eleventh century when Pope Urban II began political moves to establish control of Europe via religion, initiatives that resulted in the First Crusade and a mass migration not only of armed men, but honest god loving villagers and in one case, children.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2021 at 03:42
People like the Classical Greeks, but there were pregnant possibilities in the Archaic age that never came to term, or when they appeared were crowded out by other things.  I think early Christianity was like that.  I think that patronage meant more to the Christians as assurance that there would not be another Diocletian persecution, than it does an opportunity to cash in on things, although the two are not necessarily separate.  You can have the second fairly easily if you have the first.  But, having the first does no necessarily mean you have the second.  All those desert Fathers didn't do what they did, in order to make it rich, in fact the mortification of the body was akin to what lead people to martyrdom.  Ascetics and stylobates were ways of expressing one's dedication, when martyrdom was no long a 'live' thing.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2021 at 10:20
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

  Ascetics and stylobates were ways of expressing one's dedication, when martyrdom was no long a 'live' thing.  

Well, frankly speaking, monastic movement expressing the idea of such devotion or dedication wasn't so widespread among the early Christians till the 4th century, at least as we know it now. How many names of the early Christian hermits do we know? St. Anthony? Who else? The rest including Simeon Stylites, Pachomius etc all sprang out only after the Church got recognition from the State officially Smile The first monastic order of Benedictines was only founded in the 6th century, thanks to the lavish support.   

Christian martyrdom in general is something pertaining more often to the myth than to the reality. There's been an interesting book on that subj by Candida Moss, the Myth of persecution. If one opens up the official Roman Catholic Liber Pontificalis which lists the names of all Roman popes, nearly all of the early popes died as martyrs by violent death. This very monotypic narrative of their life stories can be only explained by the lack of time for writing the story: the authors didn't have time to think up a unique story for each pope, so they turned all of them into robots who all die by the same violent death, which supposedly should inspire the feeling of guilt in reader's mind and so to make it subject to further manipulation. 

  


Edited by Novosedoff - 16 Apr 2021 at 10:26
I teach history to children, and I am proud that they leave my classes permeated with sh*t and hatred to meet the real world.
I see my personal historic mission in bringing madness to juvenile masses.
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